Abusive Head Trauma
Short Description or Definition
Pediatric abusive head trauma (AHT) is a form of inflicted traumatic brain injury in an infant or small child due to blunt trauma, being shaken, or a combination of both. Rapid rotation and movement, acceleration and deceleration changes, of the brain within the cranial vault of a small child result in significant neural trauma. The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control defines pediatric abusive head trauma as “an injury to the skull or intracranial contents of an infant or young child (< 5 years of age) due to inflicted blunt impact and/or violent shaking.” This definition excludes unintentional injuries and penetrating trauma (Parks et al. 2012).
A form of child maltreatment or abuse, AHT occurs as a result of a baby’s weak neck muscles in relation to its proportionally large head...
References and Readings
- Ewing-Cobbs, L., Kramer, L., Prasad, M., Canales, D. N., Louis, P. T., Fletcher, J. M., Vollero, H., Landry, S. H., & Cheung, K. (1998). Neuroimaging, physical, and developmental findings after inflicted and noninflicted traumatic brain injury in young children. Pediatrics, 102(2), 300–307.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Hymel, K. P., Makoroff, K. L., Laskey, A. L., Conaway, M. R., & Blackman, J. A. (2007). Mechanisms, clinical presentations, injuries, and outcomes from inflicted versus noninflicted head trauma during infancy: Results of a prospective, multicentered, comparative study. Pediatrics, 119, 922–929.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Neurological Disorder & Stroke NINDS Shaken Baby Syndrome Information page. www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/shakenbaby
- Parks, S. E., Annest, J. L., Hill, H. A., & Karch, D. L. (2012). Pediatric abusive head trauma: Recommended definitions for public health surveillance and research. Atlanta: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Google Scholar
- Shaken Baby Association, Inc. www.shakenbaby.net
- The National Center on SBS. www.dontshake.org